Better Places | tour operator for responsible tourism

Better Places is an innovative tour operator with a focus on responsible travel. Our vision is to develop and promote authentic and unique travel experiences which will bring the greatest possible benefit to all stakeholders – travellers, the host population and the local tourism businesses and entrepreneurs, whilst minimising our environmental impact and respecting the people and cultures in our destinations.

Responsible Tourism is about making Better Places for people to live in and Better Places for people to visit.

Responsible Tourism requires that operators, hoteliers, governments, local people and tourists take responsibility by taking action to make tourism more sustainable. We believe in leading by example. The kind of responsibility and action needed in a particular place, depends upon the local environment and culture. Tourism is one of the most important and largest industries on the planet. It accounts for 11% of the world’s GDP and 12% of its exports. It employs more people worldwide than any other industry, with millions of families relying on tourism for their daily needs. We believe that our type of individual, off-the-beaten track tourism can bring benefits to many communities, help preserve the environments we travel to see, and provide authentic and positive social exchanges. Even in Europe, tourism can help stabilize rural communities by providing much needed employment and give powerful economic reasons to preserve rapidly shrinking natural environments.

Better Places recognizes that climate change is one of the most urgent problems facing our world today and the tourism sector is a growing contributor to the problem. Travel and tourism are responsible for around 5% of global CO2 emissions. Our challenge is to prepare for a low-carbon society by further reducing our environmental impacts, while ensuring we preserve tourism’s social and economic benefits – both for the host community and our customers. That’s why we joined Tourism Declares A Climate Emergency as one of the initiators. By signing the Tourism Declares Climate Emergency statement, we promise to reduce our CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030.

Better Places’ aim is to refine our understanding of the strategic risks and value that sustainable development can create and to demonstrate responsible leadership in the way we address them. We have already experienced a range of business benefits from sustainability management, including quality improvements and the enhanced engagement of customers, colleagues and suppliers. Better Places continually engages with internal and external stakeholders. Communicating with those who have an interest in our company and its activities helps us develop as a business and incorporate sustainability into the way we work. Better Places engages with customers, colleagues, industry partners, suppliers, stakeholders in destinations, governments, non-governmental organisations and experts in sustainable tourism.

We cannot tackle sustainability issues alone; we need to collaborate with all stakeholders; from hotels and inbound agencies to tour leaders, local guides and clients. Engaging our customers, clients and partners in sustainability is a continuous process. Better Places publicly advocates for sustainable tourism in the media, at industry and governmental events, at our clients and amongst other audiences. We expect and help our staff and stakeholders to integrate sustainable thinking into their behaviour. Therefore we have developed this Responsible Tourism Policy, for ourselves and our partners. We expect all our partners to follow the guidelines within this policy. The aims of our Responsible Tourism Policy are:

  • to educate staff, local agents, guides, crew, suppliers and clients on the importance of sensitivity to environmental, cultural and economic matters in the countries visited
  • to set an example for our clients through the actions and behaviour of our tour guides, drivers, cooks and accommodation providers who act as role models
  • to give practical guidance on how to achieve these objectives
  • to set goals to work towards a sustainable tourism sector

Our Responsible Tourism Policy is issued to our local operators in all destinations. The policy is constantly being reviewed and we welcome feedback from all sources, so we can keep on improving our approach to responsible tourism. We will provide regular and on-going training in the principles and practices of responsible tourism, both to our office staff and those employed directly or indirectly around the world. We encourage our partners to inform us about new ideas and new tourist products.